Rockstar has today launched the new Grand Theft Auto game, and as well as queues of gamers waiting since midnight to get their hands on a copy, the game has also received considerable rave reviews from the press and those fortunate enough to get hold of a copy.
The Grand Theft Auto series has endured its share of criticism, but typically from those that are complaining about its adult themes rather than the quality of the game itself. While the latest in the franchise hasn’t strayed away from these themes, game series like Saints Row have effectively taken a lot of attention away from what can be considered a more mundane game. However, where GTA V fails to shock in the same way it once did, it does inspire awe for its massive sandbox world, excellent gameplay, and stunning visuals.
One area that GTA games did receive gameplay criticism was in its combat. Fighting was, at best, a bit glitchy in previous Grand Theft titles but the problems have been ironed out and the only potential weakness in the series has become one of its strongest points.
Switching weapons and targets is now easy and you can duck behind sticky cover without the fear of running into walls or accidentally popping your head around the corner of a concrete barrier. What’s more, your health bar will regenerate as long as you don’t fall below 50% health. The end result is an even more satisfying approach to the inevitable violence.
Developers have brought San Andreas to life, too. Game world development has always been a strong point of the series, and of Rockstar games in general, and it has always afforded developers the opportunity to fill their games with missions, side missions, and exceptional titbits of gameplay. San Andreas is not only bigger than ever but it is more beautiful and the attention to detail is truly breath-taking. The people, the buildings, and therefore the missions and game seem as believable and real as possible.
The game cost a staggering £170m to produce, which makes it the most expensive game ever developed and the queues that started at midnight outside stores would certainly suggest that Scottish developers Rockstar North will not find it difficult to recoup this money.
Rockstar North is currently investigating claims that Amazon had already shipped the game to some customers before the Tuesday release. Retailers always receive copies early but are forbidden from opening, playing, or selling the game until its official release.